One Police Plaza

All in the deputy's family

February 25, 2005

Garry McCarthy, the deputy commissioner for operations, has managed to turn a parking ticket for his daughter into an embarrassment for himself, his family and the NYPD.

McCarthy's daughter was issued a summons at 11:20 p.m. Feb. 18 by Det. Thomas Rossi of the Palisades Interstate Parkway Police for parking in a handicapped zone at a gas station north of the George Washington Bridge.

Half an hour later, McCarthy and his wife pulled up while Rossi and his partner, Officer Roman Galloza, were still writing summonses. According to Lt. Nelson Pagan of the parkway police, McCarthy was given a "personal violation" for blocking the single exit lane of the gas station with his black Ford Explorer. His wife was also given a summons for "unreasonable noise."

"He wanted to know who issued his daughter a summons for parking in the handicapped zone," Pagan said. "He was upset. That was for sure.

"She was screaming and yelling when he was getting a summons," Pagan said of McCarthy's wife.

There have been other incidents involving McCarthy.

As a finalist for superintendent of Chicago's police department, McCarthy told that city's police board that, two decades earlier, he and his brother had been menaced by toughs holding a Doberman as they returned to the 46th Precinct station house in the Bronx after the St. Patrick's Day parade.

McCarthy said he might have placed his hand on his gun. Because he had alcohol on his breath, McCarthy added, he was disciplined.

An officer on the scene told Newsday that McCarthy and his brother, a state trooper, had been firing their weapons at street lights on Burnside Avenue as they returned to the station house.

A ranking police official told Newsday yesterday that the night after he was appointed deputy commissioner by then-Commissioner Howard Safir five years ago, McCarthy had an altercation with a sergeant in a bar on City Island. McCarthy ordered the sergeant out of the bar, and the sergeant retaliated by calling Internal Affairs.

The sergeant - not McCarthy - was disciplined, the official said, adding that McCarthy was spoken to by Marilyn Mode, the deputy commissioner of public information.

Mode was heard shouting at McCarthy through her closed door: Mode says she does not recall the incident.

Now, because of the Palisades affair, McCarthy might be asked the following questions:

Was the Explorer he was driving a department vehicle? Even deputy commissioners are not supposed to have department cars for personal use. If it was a department car, why was his wife riding in it?

Was McCarthy carrying his gun? NYPD officials, who, like McCarthy, are technically civilians, are not supposed to carry them out of state.

Was drinking involved?

Pagan said neither McCarthy nor his wife were cited for intoxication, although professional courtesy may have led the parkway police to issue summonses for the least intrusive charge.

The McCarthy crew is due in court in New Jersey on May 10. Although the fines are no more than $100, the inside line is that he will plead not guilty and contest the charges.

McCarthy did not return calls. Chief Michael Collins, a police spokesman, said the department had no comment.

Unseen. Any of the NYPD's 37,000 officers at the retirement dinner of FBI supervisor Joe Valiquette on Feb. 17.

Valiquette, the voice of the bureau's New York office for the past two decades, was the last of the original Joint Terrorist Task Force members - a group of NYPD cops and FBI agents - to retire. The task force began with 25 members and has since grown to more than 300.

Sweet charity. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly's wife, Veronica, volunteered to help with Christo's "The Gates" in Central Park. She was told Christo does not accept volunteers. Instead, she is being paid the minimum wage.

©2005 Newsday, Inc.Reprinted with permission.